Friday, May 15, 2015
I know everyone has heard the saying that breastmilk is best.   It does amazing things for both baby and mother.  I think the benefits of breastmilk are phenomenal.  Here are 5 Fascinating Breastfeeding Facts:

"For the newborn, colostrum is densely packed with antibodies and immunoglobulins to give baby a “booster shot’ right after birth. As baby grows older, human milk continues to pass on antibodies for all those organisms to which the mother has developed her own immunity. Even more amazing, if a baby contracts an illness that mom has not been exposed to previously, he will transfer this organism through his saliva to the breast, where antibodies are manufactured on site and then sent back to baby via the milk to help him cope. Science does not come even close to duplicating this feat!" (1- .pdf)
"The milk of "malnourished" mothers, even when malnutrition was severe, was slightly (but not statistically significantly) richer in fat than that of well-nourished women. The proportion of primiparous women was similar in both nutritional groups, and multiparity up to five pregnancies was associated with an increased fat concentration. Infants from all groups gained weight in a similar "normal" way, demonstrating that poor maternal nutritional status in this population had no adverse effect on the adequacy of lactation." (2)
"A literature search was conducted for studies reporting volumes or dimensions of stomach capacity before or after birth. Six articles were found, suggesting a stomach capacity of 20 mL at birth... A stomach capacity of 20 mL translates to a feeding interval of approximately 1 h for a term neonate. This corresponds to the gastric emptying time for human milk, as well as the normal neonatal sleep cycle. Larger feeding volumes at longer intervals may therefore be stressful and the cause of spitting up, reflux and hypoglycaemia." (3)
"Frequent nursing encourages good milk supply and reduces engorgement. Aim for nursing at least 10 – 12 times per day (24 hours). You CAN’T nurse too often–you CAN nurse too little." (4)
"Breastfed babies get hungry sooner than babies who are formula-fed because human milk proteins are digested so efficiently. It doesn’t take as much energy to digest human milk as it does to digest formula. Frequent feedings also ensure that human babies get lots of attention from their mothers." (5)
"Breast milk contains all the nutrients that an infant needs in the first 6 months of life, including fat, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals and water... It is easily digested and efficiently used." (6)
"The average calorie content of human milk is 22 kcal/oz." (7)

"The theory developed in 2007 by scientists at the University of Western Australia (UWA) that breastmilk contains stem cells has been taken to a higher level with the latest discovery by one of the team’s newer members. UWA Ph.D. candidate Foteini Hassiotou has proven that stem cells from breastmilk can now be directed to become other body cell types such as bone, fat, liver and brain cells. " (8)
"Breastmilk cells from different donors displayed variable expression of pluripotency genes normally found in human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). These genes included the transcription factors (TFs) OCT4, SOX2, NANOG, known to constitute the core self-renewal circuitry of hESCs." (9)
" Laboratory experiments have shown that HAMLET (substance in breastmilk) kills 40 different types of cancer, and the researchers are now going on to study its effect on skin cancer, tumours in the mucous membranes and brain tumours. Importantly, HAMLET kills only cancer cells and does not affect healthy cells." (10)

Breastmilk is incredible!  Share this post if you think so too!

Sources:
Photos from www.pixabay.com
Thursday, May 14, 2015
Something that every breastfeeding mama may struggle with is finding both a comfortable and easily way to discreetly nurse/pump.  There are multiple products out there that aim to help in this cause.  I've never been one to use a cover of any sort, I found them impossible to work with during the early weeks, while baby and I were learning to latch.  A friend suggested that I try what she does- wear a tank top and a t-shirt.  It's very easy while you're getting your breast out for baby to latch to just pull up the top layer and pull down the tank top.  However, I have found something better yet and I'm really excited to tell you about it!
Undercover Mama asked me to review their Basic Essentials Nursing Shirt.  I honestly did not know much about the mechanics behind this tank top before I was approached.  I never saw the point to getting a special tank top for breastfeeding, as I have plenty of regular tanks that work great... but the more I learned about this tank, the more I fell in love.
The package came with the shirt, 2 "Thank You for Nursing in Public" cards, a coupon for Shuga Bebe Couture Nursing Pillow and a coupon for Nurse Purse, plus a sweet thank you note!  I felt like I hit the jackpot with all these goodies.
 Undercover Mama suggests to order a size down, but I ordered a size up because I prefer loose fitting clothing.   The very first thing I noticed is it's tagless!  That is something I don't have with most of my tank tops, so I was VERY happy!  No scratchy spot on your back!
The tank is made of 95% high-quality cotton and 5% spandex, and has the perfect stretch. It's a soft jersey type knit, like you'd have with most t-shirts.
There are no straps on this tank, and that's what makes this product so unique and versatile.  With two different options for attaching, you won't have any trouble keeping this shirt right where it needs to be.  There is a traditional metal strap hook, which slides over your bra strap, but there's also a very handy little silicone loop. The silicone loop just slides over the clasp and stays tight so it won't slip off.  I tried it on all 3 of my nursing/pumping bras and it worked great.
With 15 color options, you will find one to match anything in your wardrobe.   Black is a staple for me, and this tank is definitely something I'm going to be wearing all the time.  I am going to order another black one, plus a white and probably a purple!
From XS to XXXL it's almost an absolute you'll find a size that fits you.  Check out the sizing chart HERE.
I think one of the coolest things about this tank top is that you can use it WITHOUT a nursing bra.  You don't have to be lactating to take advantage of the coverage this shirt provides!  It's amazing... There's not a soul who wouldn't enjoy this tank!  Check out my video of how to use this tank with a regular bra!
What's my favorite thing about this product? I love the length.  I feel so confident when I wear it!
Is there anything I'd change about it? Nothing!  This tank is the best of the best!
I give Undercover Mama Basic Essentials Nursing Shirt a 10/10!
SHOP Undercover Mama- http://undercovermama.com
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BTW- if you sign up for a newsletter, you will get 10% off your order (subscribe on the top of their webpage)!
Do you want to win a Basic Essentials Nursing Shirt from Undercover Mama?  Here's your chance!!!  One lucky reader will win one in the color and size of their choice. Just fill out the competition form below to enter! Open to US only. Must be 18 years of age or older. Void where prohibited. Giveaway will run from 5/15/15-6/1/15. Winner will be announced on this post as well as emailed. You will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be drawn.

Undercover Mama Giveaway
Latched On Mom did not receive compensation to promote this giveaway, however Latched On Mom was given a free product in exchange for a review. Please see my full disclosure for more information. This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or associated with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or any other social media. Prize fulfillment is the sponsor's responsibilty. If you have any questions about this giveaway, they may be directed to latchedonmom(at)gmail(dot)com.
Monday, May 11, 2015
I am a birth advocate. I want every woman to be able to experience a healthy and happy birth.  With May being International Doula Month, I found this a great opportunity to elaborate on this topic.
I absolutely had no idea what a doula was until about 6 years ago, when I was first diagnosed with a High Risk Pregnancy.  I wanted to learn everything about what they do and how they help, so I started researching.  I'm going to share with you everything I know about doulas and why you want to have a doula!
What is a doula? 
DOULA is a greek word for "woman who serves." 
 A doula is someone who provides support for a woman who is pregnant, laboring and also some doulas help with postpartum care.  Doulas give you emotional and physical support- many aid in the creation of a birth plan, help you interpret necessary medical procedures, advocate for your choices, offer strategies to ease tension/reduce pain, assist with laboring positions, and can also provide reassurance for you and your partner during birth.  
Doulas are not medical professionals, they do not replace your medical provider and do not make any medical decisions for you.
Why should you have a doula?
According to a clinical article titled Continuous Support for Women During Childbirth available HERE, there is overwhelming evidence that having a doula present at birth has a substantial effect on childbirth interventions used (or rather, not used).  Here are the stats:
* you are 28% less likely to have a c-section
* you are 31% less likely to use Pitocin
* 9% less likely to use any pain medications
* 34% less likely to say your birth experience was negative
Birth doulas help you make your birthing environment a positive place.  They nurture you and encourage you to have strength.  Doulas help you feel secure when you may feel vulnerable.  Doulas also improve breastfeeding rates (source HERE)!

Doulas are available everywhere and every family deserves a doula.
How to find a doula for your birth:
Military families can also look here- http://www.operationspecialdelivery.com

Ask these questions to find the right doula for you:
1.  What training have you had?
2.  How long have you been a doula?
3.  Specialties- Do you have experience with high risk pregnancy, c-sections, etc.
4.  What inspired you to become a doula?
5.  Are you available around my "due date?"
6.  Do you have a partner or a back-up in case you're unable to come to my birth?
7.  Do you only attend birth or do you also offer postpartum services?
8.  What are your fees?
9.  What skills do you feel you have that will benefit my child birthing experience?
10.  What is your philosophy of childbirth?
It's also important that you meet prior to birth and gauge your connection to the doula.  Is it someone you'd want to have next to your side for up to 48 hours?  You can ask for references as well.  Make sure that you feel comfortable with them, and never be afraid to ask questions!

I hope this helps!  Stay tuned for more information about doulas next week!  Leave a comment about your experience with doulas!  
Friday, May 8, 2015
This post contains affiliate links, however all opinions are my own and not influenced in any way. My full disclosure is available HERE.
Ergobaby Carriers are 50% off on Zulily!  If you've been looking for a reliable soft-structured carrier to wear your baby, this is a great opportunity to get one!  Ergobaby carriers can hold a child from newborn (with infant insert) to 45 pounds!  I love my Ergobaby carrier!  

Click HERE to shop now!
Ergobaby Carriers on Zulily

Pink & Gray Chevron Original Carrier — $59.99




Thursday, May 7, 2015

     Swaddle blankets can be seen swaddling baby, providing shade in the stroller, serving as a diaper changing pad or even a nursing cover. I always carried a swaddling blanket with me in the diaper bag when Karebear was small, they definitely are nice to have around! I'm happy to help promote this giveaway, because these swaddling blankets are adorable and versatile!!
Margaux and May 100% Organic Cotton swaddle blankets are designed with Mom's style in mind. Generously sized at 47" x 47" (120cm x 120cm), they are breathable, lightweight, a bit stretchy and perfect from birth through toddlerhood. With a lifetime guarantee, these blankets are whimsical, soft and functional.


USA Entrants 18+, legal residents are eligible for entry, void where prohibited. No spam accounts will be considered for prize. Winner will be selected via random draw, verified entries, contacted via e-mail and have 48 hours to respond. If no response is given a new winner will be drawn. Thank you and good luck!


Latched On Mom did not receive compensation to promote this. This post may contain affiliate links from the blog organizer.  The sponsor is responsible for prize fulfillment. Any questions may be directed to MamaBananasAdventures@gmail.com
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
Finding a good bra to help you nurse easily as well as effectively pump is something I've had trouble with.  There are not too many bras that take on both tasks, so I was delighted when I found Nourish by BeliBea.  This bra seemed to have it all!
"BeliBea is an innovative maternity bra line designed to help all mothers through the nursing journey, offering comfort and convenience so moms can focus on loving, bonding and reveling in the beauty of their new baby." -BeliBea
The Nourish by BeliBea bra comes in a subtle nude shade and is available in almost ALL sizes.   I was pleased to see that this bra has a decent stretch to it to accomodate the fullness we often experience while lactating.
This bra is made of 92% nylon and 8% spandex.  It is wire-free.  There are foam polyester cup pads inserted within the layers of the cups for extra support, comfort and shape.  These pads are removable.
The bra has a V-neck inset with ruching, which is very attractive.  The straps are a smooth, adjustable elastic that extends from the back of the bra then within the front of the bra, under the cups to the band seam.  There are 2 sets of clasps.  When you unclasp the first clasp, you have access to the pumping bra portion/layer of the bra.  There are slits set in perfectly to place your pump flanges in for hands-free pumping.
When you unclasp the second clasp, you have full access to your breast so you can easily nurse your child.  The clasps are very easy to handle with one hand.
Here are more details about the Nourish by BeliBea bra:
* The BeliBea bra line combines the best of traditional maternity bras with both an improved fit and design for better comfort, with the Nourish by BeliBea style also providing the ability to hold pump shields in place for hands-free convenience. 
*  Nourish by BeliBea includes dual panels in each cup that allow mothers to keep the garment in place while breastfeeding, pumping and during what often seems like the few moments in between. The inside panel fits to and holds a breast shield in place for hands-free convenience while pumping, or both panels can be lowered to easily breastfeed. 
*  The hands-free convenience of Nourish by BeliBea not only makes the individual tasks of breastfeeding and pumping more manageable, but it also allows mothers to do both at the same time – saving even more of your limited and precious time. 
*  The BeliBea bra line has a v-neck scoop and center ruching to maintain a feminine shape – no sports bra "uni-boob" here! Nourish by BeliBea also comes with removable pads between the cup panels that offer extra support, comfort and shape. 
*  Nursing mothers demand a new maternity bra that is comfortable but affordable, flexible and durable, simple yet clever – this is the bra line for nursing mothers everywhere. 
*  BeliBea bras incorporate specific design features to ensure every mother’s all-day comfort, including a seamless stretch fit, plush-lined adjustable straps and a ribbed band to provide flexible support. 
*  BeliBea can be ordered on the BeliBea website.
I wear a 40DD, so I chose the XL in case I needed a little extra room.  I am glad that I did, because the bra honestly seemed a little small on me.  I felt the band of the bra, along the sides did not offer enough support.  Just because this was the case for me, it does not mean that this bra wouldn't fit perfectly on someone else.  We all have different shaped bodies, and this is something I experience with MANY bras I've tried, unfortunately.
I think that the flanges were held perfectly in position and I was able to pump an ounce from each side without any shifting whatsoever.
Washing the bra is simple.  Place in a lingerie bag and machine wash cold on a gentle cycle.  Line dry.
What's my favorite thing about this product?  
Several things!  
1- You can nurse and pump simutaneously
2- You can pump hands-free
3- It offers comfort for all day wear
Is there anything that I'd change about this product?
Yes, as I stated earlier, I personally need more side boob support.
I give Nourish by BeliBea a 8/10!

Please take a moment to stop over at the BeliBea Facebook page and give them a LIKE!
Also, you can follow BeliBea on Twitter!
I'm super excited to let you know that BeliBea is helping me host a giveaway! One person will be the lucky winner of their very own Nourish by BeliBea Bra. Just fill out the competition form below to enter! Open to US only. Must be 18 years of age or older. Void where prohibited. Giveaway will run from 5/6/15-5/25/15. Winner will be announced on this post as well as emailed. You will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be drawn.


Latched On Mom and other participating bloggers did not receive compensation to promote this giveaway, however Latched On Mom was given a free product in exchange for a review. Please see my full disclosure for more information. This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or associated with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or any other social media. Prize fulfillment is the sponsor's responsibilty. If you have any questions about this giveaway, they may be directed to latchedonmom(at)gmail(dot)com.
Tuesday, May 5, 2015

I was looking for something fun to do with just my 5 year old daughter and she loves getting her nails done.  I had never tried Jamberry, and when my friend Bethany opened a Jamberry store, I was excited!  I could let my daughter pick something special and we could have a mother/daughter day!
If you're not familiar with Jamberry, they offer a DIY nail application that comes in a HUGE variety of styles.  If you can't find something you like, they offer a Nail Art Studio where you can upload your own graphics or create a custom pattern using their presets.  Jamberry Nails come in junior-sized wraps that are perfect for little hands, regular size and pedicure size.  Jamberry Mommy & Me comes in 2 sheets- for the little one and one for you!  Bethany sent me free wraps to share our Jamberry experience with you!
My daughter chose the Teal Mini Polka (Glossy) and Tropical Mirage pair. 
I held the sheet up to her fingers to gauge the right size, then cut out the ones that looked like they'd fit best.  I cut the wraps right in half. My daughter wanted the polka on the thumb as an accent.  The kit came with instructions and a pair of alcohol wipes, an orange stick and a nail file.
The instructions say to clean nails with alcohol wipes, push back cuticle, peel wrap and blow dry it for 3-5 seconds then apply.  Press firmly and cut excess (small curved scissors work great!) then file in downward motion.  Applying more heat on the nails will help the wraps bond better.
The first time using these, it's surprisingly easy!  It takes maybe 10 minutes or so to do and then it's done and the wraps should last up to 2 weeks!  The only tip I have to share is that you should guess a size up instead of down.  You can always trim off anything that sticks out past the nail.  Still, I think it looks amazing and my daughter is so proud.  She's been showing her manicure off to EVERYONE!

I chose Jaded- it's a sparkly teal design to compliment my daughter's nails!  I decided to have my ring finger as the accent with the Tropical Mirage from my daughter's pack. I also won a free pedi-pack from a Facebook Jamberry party Bethany hosted!
I LOVE MY NAILS!  I love that you can get several applications per sheet.  I love all the fancy designs (I just ordered some Muddy Camo wraps for my next application) and the ability to create your own!  I love how shiny they turn out, they don't look like stickers AT ALL!  I definitely would recommend giving Jamberry a try.  I'm sure there's something you'll love too!
Bethany wanted to help one of my readers win some nail wraps for Mother's Day!  So here's a giveaway!!  One person will win $25 credit! All you have to do is fill out the competition form below to enter. This giveaway will run from 5/5/15-5/12/15. Open to US only. Must be 18 years of age or older. Void where prohibited. Winner will be announced on this post, as well as emailed (so make sure to log into the competition form using the email address you use). You will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be drawn.
Latched On Mom did not receive compensation to promote this giveaway, however Latched On Mom was given a free product in exchange for a review. Please see my full disclosure for more information. 
This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or associated with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or any other social media. Prize fulfillment is the sponsor's responsibilty. If you have any questions about this giveaway, they may be directed to latchedonmom(at)gmail(dot)com.

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